Standard 6: Positive classroom environment. The teacher creates a democratic learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, student responsibility, and self-motivation.
- Creates a comfortable, well-organized physical environment with clear academic and behavioral expectations
- Works with students individually and as a group to manage their own behaviors and assume responsibility for their own learning
- Implements positive classroom management techniques for establishing structures, routines, and procedures, gaining attention, and facilitating transitions.
- Uses time effectively
- Creates an environment in which students work both cooperatively and independently
- Establishes a classroom climate of openness, caring, mutual respect, and inquiry
- Facilitates student choice and decision-making
- Engages students in service to classroom, school and community
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The bottom line of my management philosophy is to foster confident, independent and collegial decision making within the art classroom. If I wish my students to possess such qualities then I must first model the behavior.
I acquired a strategy for promoting good behavior and camaraderie in the high school classroom. I purchased stamp sized stickers of famous artworks from different time periods and cultures. I mounted them on card-stock and cut them out. I told my students that these stamps could be earned for good behavior, cleaning up and putting materials away properly, making extra artwork etc....I also told them I would pass out stamps for students who remembered key points or facts during review sessions. Conversely, if I caught students misbehaving or leaving a mess of materials I would take stamps away. To add another level of motivation, I made up a list of possible prizes that could be earned by redeeming stamps. The prize list ranged from small items to Root Beer Floats for the whole class. My students pooled all their stamps and earned the floats as soon as they could. Best day ever.
During my time at Jameson School, I taught a group project that focused on using recycled materials to create fantastical castles. My students worked in groups of 5 or 6 to create a castle, paint it, and decorate it with details and embellishments. In the process, my students learned how to work co-dependently, to share openly, and to respect others. Click the title to view a sample lesson from the unit.